Beetroot and Dill Dip

Beetroot and Dill Dip/Topping/Spread   makes 1 ¼ cups

Paleo; no gluten, dairy, legumes, onion, garlic or nightshades; with option for vegan

Fabulous colour that shouts nutritious good looks.

Excellent dip with sliced carrot, kumara chips or corn chips. Or for a hearty Chef Salad, you can toss pasta, quinoa or rice, cubed tofu  or back beans, or steamed veg – or a mixture – with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a platter. Make a depression in the middle and fill with the beetroot topping. Sprinkle with fresh dill or parsley. Surround with leafy greens. Read more

Smoky Red Pepper Pesto

Makes ¾ cup

Vegan; no gluten, dairy, tomato, soy or other legumes

Gorgeous deep colour and flavour notes. Super easy. Wonderful as a dip, spread, salad dressing, or a zingy splash to top soup, pasta; plain, grilled or BBQ chicken, lamb chops, fish, tofu, eggplant.

Natural colours and flavours can indicate high levels of antioxidants, which help lower the inflammation that characterizes at least 80% of all health conditions.

Replacing the parmesan in this pesto is a similar umami (savoury) flavour from flaky savoury yeast. This is the same yeast that is used to make Marmite. See my Dynamite recipe for an easy equivalent without the sugar and additives. Yeast is high in B vitamins and hard-to-obtain chromium so important for energy delivery. Read more

Vege Nachos

Serves 4

No gluten, dairy, cane sugar; with options for tomato, potato, legumes, vegan and Paleo

A fiesta of bright colours and flavours. Serve as a big Mexican-style platter. This can be an easy, popular dinner served with a salad or mixed steamed veg such as carrot, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or broccoli. Add rice or bread for heartier appetites. Small amounts of plant protein from different sources, or mixed with a small amount of animal protein can upgrade satiety and nutrients. Learn more about your protein needs here.

Colours can indicate a specific range of antioxidants and other supportive micronutrients. Eat 5 helpings from the 5 colours of fruit and veg daily to get the best array of health helpers.
Here crisply coated vege slices are used as a base instead of corn chips. These are topped with tomato or pumpkin sauce and protein options; a flutter of leafy greens then creamy aioli or guacamole. Ole! Read more

Romesco: Spanish Summer Sauce/Dip

Makes 1½ cups
(Vegan; no gluten, dairy, egg or legumes)

Vibrant in colour and taste. Use this hot on pasta, potato, green beans, legumes, boiled eggs, fish or chicken. Or serve cold as a dip, or as a dressing on salad. Variations follow. Great use for sun-blessed summer vegetables. There are many regional variations of Romesco. The veg might be fried or roasted and then pureed with toasted bread and hazelnuts or almonds. Historically, this was one of the many ways to use up stale bread. The result is thick, hearty with the vivid red of tomato and capsicum.

Some people do not do well with the nightshade family of vegetables (including potato, tomato and peppers; contact this office for an allergy test). However, eating them only when in season can increase tolerance. Read more

Israeli Chermoula (sort of like pesto) with Chermoula Stuffed Vegetables and Quinoa ‘Tabbouleh’ with Chermoula

Makes about 1 cup of chermoula
Vegan and Paleo; no gluten, dairy, egg, soy or other legumes, potato or tomato

No wonder the people of the Mediterranean have such great health statistics – as well as so many diners eager for their classic dishes.

Chermoula is an Arabic word used to describe a North African fresh herb, lemon, olive, nut and spice mixture used as a marinade or topping for fish, meat or vegetables. My hearty version was inspired by reading the sigh-inducing and internationally popular cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. The book is also a touching memoir by these two men who lived in the western and eastern parts of the city and met later in London. These districts have been embattled with each other, but the authors say the food and hospitality practices, culturally unify them.  Read more

Smoky Eggplant Cashew Dip

Makes 2 cups
(No gluten, dairy, legumes*, cane sugar; with options for nightshades*)

Food advice can have fashions that may not be related to wisdom. For too long elegant, sleek eggplant has been subjected to the abuse of being peeled (and lose that colour-related beauty and antioxidants – shame!) and its flesh then salted (not necessary unless old and bitter – sigh). This vegetable is popular throughout the Mediterranean and Asia. There are thin ones, bulbous, tiny, hefty, purple and green varieties. A constant though is to buy one that is firm and sleek without the wrinkles that come to most with age.

Read more

Vegan Mexican ‘Queso’ Sauce

For nachos, tacos, lasagne, pasta, legumes, veg, fish or chicken
Makes 1½ cups
(Vegan; no gluten, dairy, tomato, soy or other legumes)

The original Mexican queso sauce (KAY-zo: meaning cheese) and the American versions are basically cooked or raw vegetables (usually tomato, onion and chilli) mixed with melted cheese and served warm. Traditionally this is poured over nachos, used as a filling for tacos or warm tortillas, or used as a dip. Some US recipes use almost 1 kilo of cheese – mostly processed!

Read more

Creamy (Vegan) Mushroom Sauce for Pasta/Veg/Tofu/Fish or Chicken

Serves 3-4
(Vegan; no gluten, dairy, egg, nightshades*; with options for legumes*)

Such a rich taste and almost cheesy – yet with no dairy or other animal products, or flour as a thickener. The texture is achieved by warming your choice of Milk Option* and blending it with cashews and onion for a thick, surprisingly buttery result. This gets seasoned and added to colourful veg for a quick, easy meal. A pinch of turmeric (high in antioxidants) gives egg yolk colour with little hint of its heritage. If just serving with veg or pasta the protein content might be light for some so a range of options follow; the legume* ones keep it all vegan. You can also use this recipe to replace cream or cheese-based sauces such as in lasagne.

Read more

Pasta Perfecto

Pasta and Noodle Dishes from Around the World

(No gluten or dairy – with options for nightshades*, legumes*, yeast, eggs and cane sugar)

Foods can suffer from discrimination and abuse especially at the hand of science segregationists. Carbs are in and fats are out; then carbs are bad and protein gets celebrity status. What makes for the confusion is looking at foods in isolation when they are rarely eaten that way. If all you ate was any one superb food your health would suffer. Plus different people experience different results from eating the same foods.

Read more

Italian Bean Dip

Makes 1¼ cups
(Vegan; no gluten, dairy, egg, soy or nightshades)

If you like to eat foods that bite you back with similar intensity: try this. It resembles a chunky hummus, Italian-style. Use it on bread, crackers or as a dip for raw vegetables and triangles of bread toasted with my dairy-free, herb and garlic version of Better Butter (see website RECIPES). Or add as a flavourful topping on baked or steamed vegetables, salad, poached fish or tofu. Any left-overs can be mixed with an egg and breadcrumbs and used to fill large mushroom caps. Fan Grill about 7 minutes for a vegetarian main. Serve with kumara wedges and salad.

Read more